Commercial trucking is a significant part of the American economy. Every day, commercial trucks transport billions of tons of cargo to communities across the country. While these large vehicles are vital for the economy, they are also inherently dangerous for accidents due to their large size and substantial weight. A car accident involving typical passenger cars can be extremely damaging, but an accident involving a large commercial truck is likely to be far worse.
If you or a loved one recently experienced a truck accident in the Westminster area that you believe occurred because of a driver’s negligence, you need to consult a Westminster truck accident attorney as soon as possible to determine your best available options for recovery. The right attorney can help you navigate the personal injury claim process, handle complex insurance claims, and guide you to the best possible recovery for your losses. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has years of experience handling the toughest truck accident claims for Westminster-area clients, and we can put this experience to work for you.
Why Do I Need an Accident Lawyer?
It’s not uncommon for people who experience traffic accidents to believe that fault for their damages is readily apparent and they are capable of handling their recovery process on their own. However, the reality is that even seeking an insurance claim payout after a truck accident can be incredibly challenging, and navigating a personal injury claim without an attorney on your side is also a substantial challenge. Handling these issues while also recovering from your injuries can be an extraordinary challenge for the victim and their family. Additionally, they could unintentionally jeopardize their own claims by making honest mistakes or settling for less than they deserve.
Hiring an experienced Westminster truck accident attorney is the best way to approach any motor vehicle accident claim, especially one as potentially complex as a truck accident suit. Your attorney can manage the legal side of your recovery on your behalf while you and your family recover in peace. In addition, a good attorney will ensure you maximize your compensation for your damages and help you explore every available avenue of recovery in your claim.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal can provide the responsive, compassionate, and detail-oriented legal guidance you need during this type of difficult situation. Our firm has extensive resources we can leverage to ensure you receive as much compensation as possible for your truck accident losses. Do not risk confronting an insurance company or pursuing a personal injury claim without a personal injury lawyer. Instead, allow our team to handle your legal affairs so you can recover with greater confidence.
How Do Truck Accidents Happen?
Commercial truck accidents can happen for many of the same reasons as accidents involving standard passenger vehicles. However, due to the nature of commercial trucking and the large size of most commercial trucks, there are other risk factors in play whenever a large truck is on the road near other drivers. Some of the most commonly cited causes of truck accidents in the US include:
- Truck driver negligence. All commercial truck drivers must hold commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs) and have adequate training and experience before they are assigned trucking routes. If a truck driver is negligent, they may cause an accident and absorb liability for the victim’s damages. Truck drivers who speed, commit moving violations, drive while tired or intoxicated, or who violate trucking industry regulations are typically held liable for the damages they cause and may lose their CDLs depending on the severity of their actions.
- Driving under the influence. Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous and illegal for all drivers. Police use a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement system to confirm drunk driving. The standard threshold for BAC is .08%; anything above this amount qualifies as drunk driving. Because commercial truck drivers operate inherently dangerous vehicles for work, the BAC threshold is only .04%. Therefore, any truck driver who causes a truck accident because of drunk driving will likely face criminal prosecution in addition to civil liability for victims’ damages. It is also possible for a drunk driver in a passenger vehicle to cause an accident with a commercial truck that involves multiple other vehicles.
- Distracted driving. All drivers have a legal responsibility to avoid distractions as much as possible while driving. Cell phone use, eating while driving, and other distractions can easily cause devastating accidents. Even momentary distractions can cause severe accidents. Therefore, it’s vital for all drivers, including truck drivers, to minimize distractions as much as possible while behind the wheel.
- Improperly loaded cargo. Commercial trucks that carry goods across the country must be packed correctly to ensure a balanced load. If the truck is packed incorrectly, this can throw off the weight distribution in the truck’s trailer, causing a jackknife accident, rollover accident, or tip-over accident. Additionally, oversized and specialized cargoes have their own loading and security requirements. For example, some commercial trucks carry smaller vehicles, construction materials, lumber, and oversized loads.
- Improper or inadequate truck maintenance. Commercial truck maintenance is crucial. The party responsible for servicing a commercial truck must account for any known safety hazards and perform effective maintenance. If poor maintenance causes an accident, the party responsible for performing maintenance work on the truck will face liability for the accident.
These are just a few examples of how commercial truck accidents can happen. If you believe your recent truck accident occurred because of another party’s negligence, it’s vital to connect with an experienced and reliable Westminster truck accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for recovery.
Determining Liability for a Trucking Accident
If you intend to take legal action after any type of motor vehicle accident, determining liability for the accident is a vital first step toward success with your claim. Unfortunately, one of the most challenging aspects of most modern trucking accidents is determining liability. Depending on how your truck accident occurred, one or more parties may be liable for your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you evaluate the available evidence to determine where you should direct the focus of your truck accident claim.
Many truck accidents raise the concern of vicarious liability, a legal concept that indicates that one party bears liability for the actions of another party. It’s not uncommon for trucking companies and employers of truck drivers to absorb liability for the actions of the drivers they employ. It’s also possible for a third party to be responsible for your accident. For example, if a drunk driver in a passenger vehicle swerved in front of a tractor-trailer and caused it to crash into your vehicle, the drunk driver would be liable for the accident, but it’s possible for the truck driver and their employer to also absorb some liability depending on how the accident unfolded.
When vicarious liability comes into play, a truck driver’s actions could implicate their employer as liable for a truck accident. For example, if the truck driver caused the accident because they were driving drunk, this is a violation of their job duties, but if their employer failed to conduct a background check that would have revealed the driver’s history of drunk driving, this would implicate the employer as vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.
Determining liability for damages is one of the most challenging aspects of pursuing a truck accident claim. This is just one of the reasons it is so important to have reliable legal counsel on your side after a commercial truck accident. If you want to maximize your recovery, you need an attorney who has the skill and experience to correctly determine liability for the accident and the ability to secure the evidence you need to hold the liable party accountable for your damages.
Possible Damages and Compensation for a Truck Accident Injuries Claim
Truck accidents are often devastating. The average fully-loaded commercial tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, meaning this vehicle will require much more time and distance to slow down and stop in changing traffic patterns. In addition, most truck accident victims experience significant damages, including:
- Severe physical injuries. A truck accident can cause broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and various soft tissue and internal organ injuries. Many truck accident injuries are catastrophic, meaning the victim is left permanently disfigured or disabled from their injuries. These injuries can lead to substantial medical bills that create economic strain for the victim and their family.
- Lost income. A truck accident victim may be left unable to work, a difficult situation made worse by the medical expenses they incur to treat their injuries. Many truck accident victims are left unable to work for an extended time. Their attorneys can potentially help them recover wages lost during recovery as well as lost future earning potential if their accidents leave them disabled.
- Property damage. A large commercial truck can easily crush a smaller passenger vehicle, and most cars involved in truck accidents are damaged beyond repair. Therefore, the plaintiff in a truck accident claim has the right to seek compensation for vehicle repair or replacement costs.
- Pain and suffering. Truck accidents are terrifying and highly traumatic. Plaintiffs have the right to claim compensation for the physical pain caused by their injuries and the psychological trauma from their experiences. Your attorney can help you determine the most appropriate figure to include for pain and suffering compensation in your claim.
Many truck accident victims discover that their claims are worth much more than they initially expected when they work with reliable and experienced truck accident attorneys. However, confronting a large trucking company’s legal team can be very difficult for the average person when they do not have reliable legal counsel on their side. The team at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal can help you maximize your compensation by fully exploring every potential avenue of recovery available in your claim.
What to Expect From A Westminster, Colorado Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has recently experienced a commercial truck accident in the Westminster area, it’s vital to connect with an attorney you can trust if you want to maximize your recovery. Your attorney should begin handling your claim by reviewing all available evidence, including the police report from the accident, the medical report from your doctor detailing your injuries, eyewitness statements, and physical evidence recovered by police from the scene of the crash. Once your attorney has helped you determine the party or parties liable for your damages, they can proceed with assisting in your recovery.
Expert witnesses may also come into play in some trucking accident claims to prove liability. For example, your attorney may coordinate expert witness testimony from an accident reconstruction expert, engineer, or other professional to help you prove how your accident occurred and establish liability for your damages. This is just one of the valuable services an experienced Westminster personal injury attorney can provide after a trucking accident.
After most vehicle accidents, a victim’s first step toward recovering from their damages is filing an insurance claim. Unfortunately, even under ideal circumstances, dealing with insurance companies and their representatives is rarely easy or pleasant, and having the right attorney on your side can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your truck accident insurance claim. If your attorney successfully helps you secure an insurance payout from the party responsible for your damages, they can then determine whether your insurance payout is enough to fully cover your losses. If not, they will proceed with helping you file a personal injury claim against whoever caused the accident.
Find Your Westminster Truck Accident Injury Lawyers Team Today
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has years of experience helping clients navigate the most complex vehicle accident claims in the Westminster, Colorado, area. We understand the challenges many accident victims face when determining liability for their accidents and accurately assessing their damages. We can put this experience to work for you and help you recover as completely as possible after a truck accident.
If you are struggling with the financial aftermath of a truck accident while recovering from painful injuries, we can help. Contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today to schedule your consultation with a reliable Westminster truck accident attorney. We will review the details of your situation and let you know what you can expect from our team.